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THE STATISTICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON.
Vol. I. 1836—1837. No. 11.
Monday, June 19, 1837.
Sir Charles Lemon, Bart., M.P., in the Chair.
The following gentlemen were balloted for, and were elected
Fellows of the Society : —
John C. W. Lever, Esq., 33, Bridge-House-Place, Southwark.
John Clark, Esq., Assurance Office, Aberdeen.
The two following gentlemen were proposed as Fellows of the
Society, and their names were ordered to be suspended in the
meeting-room, in accordance with the Society's regulations : —
Christopher Rawlinson, Esq., Temple.
Alfred Latham, Esq., Montague-Place.
The following distinguished gentlemen, having first been re-
commended by the Council, were balloted for, and were elected
as Foreign Members : —
Count Serristori, of Florence.
Councillor Schlieben, of Dresden.
Baron Charles Dupin, of Paris.
Count Graberg de Hemso.
Professor Auguste de la Rive, of Geneva.
His Excellency Admiral Greig, of St. Petersburg.
Dr. Julius, of Hamb-: vg.
M. Guerry, of Paris.
Vol. i. 2r
A short Abstract was read, prepared by Colonel Sykes, V. P.,
from a comparative account, by Mr. Langon, of the ages and
diseases of 240 miners, and 120 common labourers, in Cornwall.
The statements of Mr. Langon are contained in a report of
that gentleman to the Royal Polytechnic Society of Cornwall.
n 240 Miners,
Above 30 years of
Always or occasionally labour- ) „,.
ing under disease . . . j '
With cough, dispnaea, palpi-) fi7
Other diseases 8
In 120 common Labourers, taken
without selection, there were
Above 30 years of age 93
40 ,, 68
45 , , 63
50 , , 57
55 , , 48
60 , , 35
65 ,, 27
70 , . 14
75 ,, 8
Always or occasionally labour-) ■ _
ing under disease . . . J
With cough, dispneea ... 'J
Other diseases 10
It will be observed that the older labourers are much more
healthy than the miners, although their ages average near ten
years more, and that only one-eighth of the miners have attained
the age of 50, while nearly one-half of the labourers have com-
pleted or exceeded that age. It was remarked, that the compara-
tively short existence of these poor men appeared to be attributable
to the irksome labour of ascending the innumerable ladders in the
mines, which produces chronic bronchitis and dilatation of the
cavities of the heart — an evil which strongly appeals to the bene-
volent to procure the adoption of some mechanical contrivance for
its removal or mitigation. Should no such effort be made, it was
suggested that it would be the duty of the legislature to provide a
remedy for such a serious extent of suffering.
A Paper presented by the Right Honorable Earl Fitzwilliam
was explained and laid upon the table. It consisted of some
elaborate returns to agricultural queries issued by his lordship.
These returns related to nine different farms, situated in the
Isle of Ely, county of Cambridge, and in the liberty of Peter-
borough, county of Northampton ; and forming parts of estates
belonging to the Duke of Bedford, Earl Fitzwilliam, and the
Marquis of Exeter. The following particulars were stated ; —
The Number of Acres of Land in Cultivation, namely,
In Wheat, In Fallow, Coleseeds,
Barley, Ditto, Dead,
Oats, Permanent Pasture, Grazed,
Beans, Ditto, Mown,
Peas, Seeds, Grazed,
Clover, Red, Ditto, Mown,
Saintfoin, Pared and burned for Coleseed.
The Kind and Number of Implements in Use on each Farm,
Carts, Thrashing Machines.
Ploughs, Dressing ditto,
Harrows, Straw Cutters,
Drills, Single-Hand Chuff Boxes.
The Number of Lice Stock, namely,
Horses, for working in harness. Foals,
Ditto, for riding, Young unbroken Horses.
The Number of Cattle, namely,
Feeding Beasts, Young Steers and Heifers.
'File Number of Sheep, namely,
Rams, Breeding Ewes,
Shearlings, Ewes and Wethers, Young Lambs.
The Number of Swine, namely,
Boars, Young Pigs,
Sows, Store Pigs.
The Number of Poultry, namely,
Fowls of all sorts, Ducks of all sorts,
Geese ditto, Turkies.
These returns are dated Midsummer, 1836.
The next Paper read was " On the State of Prostitution in the
Parish of Lambeth, deduced from inquiries made in January,
1835, at the request of Sir Arthur de Capell Broke, Bart., F.R.S.,
by H. W. Dewhurst, Esq., Surgeon, &c."
The Paper consisted of a series of circumstantial remarks on
various particulars of the condition, habitations, ages, character,
diseases, and crimes of prostitutes in this district, and of a tabular
exhibition of the numbers of disreputable houses and of the num-
bers of known prostitutes. It has been found that the greater
proportion of these unfortunate females have been originally
seduced from the houses of their parents, or from situations as
servants ; when, having been abandoned by their seducers, they
have been turned from their homes or employers, and thus, con-
trary to their inclinations, have been obliged to embrace prosti-
tution, as the only means of obtaining a scanty subsistence.
The ages of common prostitutes in this parish vary from 15 to
about 35 years. Generally speaking, they are very ill informed ;
their education appears to have been neglected. Many cannot
write or read ; others read and write very badly. A few possess
every mental accomplishment which can adorn the female character ;
but these have been females moving originally in a high and re-
spectable class of society. An instance was given of the daughter
of an episcopal clergyman.
In the habits of the higher and lower classes of prostitutes there
is little difference. Those possessing a genteel figure, with a
pleasing and captivating address, are generally found well dressed,
and board and lodge in the more respectable streets, for which they
pay weekly ; but the. greater number consists of extremely low
characters. Both classes are habituated to excessive drinking,
and, when quarrelling about real or imagined offences, their lan-
guage is highly disgusting, and personal violence is mutuallv
inflicted until they are restrained by the police.
The first class of prostitutes seldom leave their habitations for
the purpose of enticing visitors, except to frequent the theatres,
masquerades, or the Saloon in Piccadilly; at other times they make
their appearance, well dressed, at the street-doors or windows of
their respective apartments. The second or lower class are com-
mon street-walkers, habituated to every species of intemperance.
The chief places of resort for these abandoned characters are the
whole extent of the Waterloo Road, the porticoes of the Minor
Theatres, Vauxhall Gardens, the Penny Theatres in the neigh-
bourhood, the Asylum Road, Lambeth, London and Kennington
Roads, Kennington Cross, and the open space between the West-
minster Road and the New Bethlehem Lunatic Asylum.
There are few married prostitutes, compared with those who are
single — not more than three or four in thirty. A few maintain their
husbands by common prostitution. There are numerous instances
of single prostitutes who maintain men by their avocation,
A few have children, which, in consequence of the dissolute
and drunken habits of the mothers, are much neglected, and are
often seen intoxicated with spirits ; though this is perhaps justly
attributable, not to any wish to injure their offspring, but to mis-
taken kindness and ignorance : for these unfortunate members of
society are not to be considered as being devoid of maternal affec-
tion. Some are extremely fond of children, and many of those having
none bestow their caresses upon the offspring of their landladies
(most of whom are married women, or have the credit of being
so), or on those of their fellow lodgers ; and the poor and helpless
mendicant, being considered worse off even than themselves, is
always sure of receiving a trifle if they possess it.
Abortion is desired, and is sought to be produced ; the principal
motive being, not antipathy to their children, but the fear of ina-
bility to maintain them ; and because that, having lost all claims
to virtue, they would be an incumbrance in following their vo-
cation. Many have stated that, were they married, their sole
happiness would be in their children; and some, who have infants
living, exhibit as much maternal affection as the most virtuous
In consequence of irregular and intemperate habits they are
particularly subject to various diseases of the digestive organs,
generally of an inflammatory nature; and, during the winter
season, from exposure to the night air, and sometimes from being
insufficiently clothed, affections of the lungs are very common ;
few indeed can be said to be constantly free from these diseases ;
coughs and colds being their almost constant companions.
Remarks were here made on their other characteristic and more
dreadful diseases, the extent of which, as exhibited in the hospitals,
was stated to be a subject for astonishment and disgust.
Their principal public offence is drunkenness, for which they
are often imprisoned; frequent quarrelling and fighting being
the consequence : so that very few of any class of prostitutes can
boast of not having been before a magistrate for intoxication.
Many are confined for short terms at Brixton or Tothill-fields
Houses of Correction. Among the lower classes, robberies of
ready-furnished lodgings and of their paramours, are of common
occurrence; and there exist instances of the establishment (called
" a fence") where prostitutes can speedily and quietly dispose of
Attempted suicide by cutting the throat, hanging, drowning, or
poisoning, is not unfrequent. Many throw themselves from the
balustrades of Waterloo-bridge, but very few accomplish their
object. Prostitutes, particularly those who are very intemperate,
seldom see old age; those who do, generally become brothel-
keepers. When a death occurs, the corpse is generally interred
by a subscription, collected from house to house, when sums from
Is. and upwards are frequently and willingly given by the sur-
vivors in misfortune ; and the funerals are thus, among at least
the first class, very decently conducted; the body being some-
times accompanied to the grave by mutes and feathers.
As the prostitutes in this parish mostly reside in the neigh-
bourhood of the theatres, public-houses, and shops for the sale of
food, many tradesmen of these classes live solely by their custom.
Hairdressers, in particular, would be ruined by their removal.
The respectable private inhabitants residing in the Waterloo-
road and adjacent streets severely complain of prostitution as
a nuisance ; but objections are not generally made by the trades-
There are instances of several members of the same family who
maintain themselves and parents by prostitution.
From inquiries made of respectable tradesmen, as well as of
poor-rate collectors, it appears that prostitution is on the increase
rather than otherwise. The cause, in numerous cases, is want
of employment ; though many would, doubtless, continue in this
way of life, from laziness and a love of dress.
None are very attentive to religious duties : however, the
church minister or catholic priest is semetimes sent for on the
approach of death, which they appear to dread. A few of those
who have not forgotten the pious precepts of their youth some-
times read their Bible, but are ridiculed by their sisters in mis-
fortune; and any attempt to excite their moral sentiments, by rea-
soning on their way of life, generally produces a desire for leaving
off the conversation, as reflection gives a pain to their feelings,
which is impatiently removed by having recourse to ardent spirits.
Many of the lodging-houses, as well as the known brothels, are
kept by old Jewesses.
It was stated that the number of prostitutes in the parish of
Lambeth can never be precisely ascertained, as they are perpe-
tually changing their abodes, removing to and from each side of
the Thames, particularly during the seasons of Astley's Amphi-
theatre and the Vauxhall Gardens ; but from numerous inquiries
made of lodging-house keepers, prostitutes, tradesmen, policemen,
tax-gatherers, &c, the number stated in the tables which accom-
panied the Paper was said to be pretty accurate. These tables
exhibited, in separate columns, the name of the street or place,
the number of improper houses, the number of known prostitutes,
their average ages, the number of lodging-house keepers sup-
ported by prostitutes, and the number of men who subsist at
the expense of prostitutes.
The total number of improper houses was stated to be 1,176;
and the number of known prostitutes 2,033.
The population of Lambeth in 1831 was 81,856.
The next Paper read was an abstract, by Frederick Hill, Esq.,
of his " Second Report of the Inspector of Prisons for Scotland."
A detailed account was given of about seventy prisons in
Scotland, with an enumeration and description of the prisons
generally. The state of crime in Scotland was also noticed;
and, with respect to many towns and districts, the results were
given of an inquiry into the operation of some of the chief causes
of crime — as drunkenness, the state of the police, the physical
condition of the people, the state of education, and the provision
for popular amusements. Finally, a statement was added of some
remedial measures proposed hy the inspector.
Including prisons of every kind, there are at present about 170
in Scotland. Of these about seventy are mere lock-up houses,
consisting, for the most part, of only one small room each, fre-
quently forming a separate building, and in very few instances in
charge of a resident keeper. Some of them are dark, close, damp,
cold, and insecure ; and most have one or more of these faults ;
few having a glazed window, and many no fire-place or other
means of warmth. In almost all communication can be kept
up with the people on the outside, and spirituous liquors, knives,
files, &c, can be obtained. The bedding generally consists of
loose straw only, usually contained in a crib, but sometimes lying
in a heap on the ground.
The next class of prisons are the small burgh gaols, of which
there are about eighty. These, as a class, are considerably
better than the lock-up houses ; but they are generally quite as
unfit for their purposes, considering that the prisoners have to
remain longer in them. The burgh gaols (many of which are
also used for county prisons) generally form part of the town-
house, which is usually an old building, standing on one side of
the main street or of the market-place.
The average number of prisoners in each of the small burgh
prisons is not more than two or three, though occasionally they are
more numerous; but even when there are no more prisoners
than rooms the usual practice is to put them together, males being
kept apart from females, and criminals generally from debtors.
This arrangement is adopted partly to save fuel, and partly
because the advantages of separation have not been considered.
As respects dryness, ventilation, temperature, and cleanliness,
there is every variety ; though certainly the general standard is
low, and there are many places containing cells entirely unfit for
the reception of a human being.
The prison of Inverness, and that of Tain, are more oppres-
sively close than any which the inspector visited ; and the Glas-
gow Bridewell is much the largest and much the best prison in
The physical condition of the prisoners is in general tolerably
good, though it is by no means uniform. In some prisons it is
certainly low, owing generally to damp, dirt, or closeness ; but
in others the prisoners are in very good condition, better than is
the case with many honest people. There is but little serious
sickness, and but few deaths ; and, upon the whole, the health
of the prisoners is generally at least as good on their leaving
prison as on their entrance.
There is a great variety in the food of the prisoners. With the
exception of the highest class of prisons, a money-allowance is,
or until lately has been, given. This allowance varies from
threepence to sixpence a day. In some prisons a contract is
entered into with the gaoler to supply the prisoners with food at
a certain rate per head. This rate, like the money-allowance,
varies at different prisons from threepence to sixpence, and that
without any assignable reason.
Where the allowance is paid in money, or where the gaoler
supplies by contract, additional supplies from without are gene-
rally permitted ; but this is seldom the case where there is a
regular dietary. In these irregular supplies, food of an objec-
tionable kind, including spirituous liquors, is of course often
Most dissatisfaction appears to exist, and complaints are more
frequently made, in those prisons where the food is most expensive,
and where the greatest irregularities are permitted. This, to some
extent, is explained by the fact that there is no work in these
prisons to give the prisoners other subjects for thought and
occupation than those of eating their meals, and wrangling about
the quantity and quality of their food.
Few of the prisons of Scotland have anything deserving the
name of discipline; the prisoners generally pass their time in
idleness (either in bed or in lolling about in the day-rooms) and
in the corrupting society of their companions : they are seldom
required to attend to their personal cleanliness, seldom obliged to
observe silence and order, and seldom receive any instruction.
Where the prisoners are separate, and fully occupied, they
are under little temptation to hreak through any reasonable rule,
or indeed to commit offences of any kind ; and, in point of fact,
in the Glasgow bridewell, and in the bridewells of Aberdeen and
Paisley, together with the prison at Ayr (in all of which work
and separation exist), there are few offences and but little punish-
ment. And the separation which tends so much to this result is
attained without any great depression of the spirits of the pri-
soners, and certainly without destroying their health, for the
inmates of these prisons are more healthy than the generality of
other prisoners in Scotland.
The usual kinds of work in the best of the Scottish prisons are
hand-loom weaving, picking oakum and worsted waste, winding
weft, spinning, sewing, shoemaking, and tailors' work.
It fortunately happens, as respects prison discipline, that a
good system is essentially economic ; the very means for the re-
form of the prisoner being such as tend, on the one hand, to save
expense, and, on the other, to make the prisoner a productive
labourer. Those prisons in Scotland in which the best system is
maintained for the real welfare and reformation of the offender
are the very prisons which are least expensive to society. This is
eminently the case with the Glasgow bridewell, which, while it
is by far the best prison in Scotland, is also, with one exception
(the Paisley bridewell), the cheapest : the average yearly cost of
a prisoner in the Glasgow bridewell, including his share of salaries,
repairs, and all other expenses (except that nothing is put down
for rent), being only 3/., or about 2d. a day ; whereas the average
yearly cost of a prisoner in the Glasgow gaol, where the inmates
are idle and disorderly, and where they must necessarily become
worse every day of their confinement, is as much as 15/. per
annum. Were it therefore required to arrange the prisons of
Scotland in the order of excellence, they might, with great general
accuracy, be placed in the inverse order of their expenses. Taking
the prisons at large, the average annual cost of a prisoner, in-
cluding salaries, repairs, &c, is about 9/. 10s. ; and the whole
average annual cost of the prisons and prisoners of Scotland,
exclusive of the cost of new buildings, is about 14,500/.
The present average number of prisoners in Scotland, in-
cluding those in lock-up houses, police cells, and prisons of every
kind, is about 1,570 ; namely, about 1,460 criminals, about 30
revenue prisoners, and about 80 debtors. Of the criminals,
about 930 are males, and about 530 females. The revenue pri-
soners and the debtors are almost all males. Most of the pri-
soners are between the ages of 15 and 30. The total number of
prisoners appears to have somewhat diminished during the last
two or three, years.
The principal evils in the prisons of Scotland, at the present
time, are, want of the means of separating prisoner from prisoner,
and of preventing intercourse from without ; want of employ-
ment, and of a provision for teaching the prisoners a trade or
other occupation by which to earn an honest livelihood when
restored to society ; want of mental, moral, and religious instruc-
tion; insecurity; the luxurious diet and life of ease in some
prisons, when compared with the food and labour of the lowest
class of honest and industrious people ; great expense of many of
the prisons; incompetency of many of the keepers; want of
female officers ; want of the means of inspection ; want of clean-
liness and ventilation ; sloth and injury to health induced by the
long time the prisoners pass in bed ; and want of a uniform
The consequences of this state of things are, first, that in the
great majority of the gaols the prisoner, instead of being reformed,
or at least improved, becomes worse ; and, secondly, imprison-
ment, on the present system, is but slightly deterring in its effects
on the criminal population generally ; for the present evils in the
prisons are most of them of a moral rather than a physical kind,
and are therefore little formidable in the eyes of the depraved ;
whilst the food — the grand object of interest to a prisoner — is
generally better than that of many honest people out of prison, to
say nothing of the freedom from labour, which, to criminals, is
generally a great luxury.
It was stated as an obvious fact, that the great bulk of the
Scottish people are honest and peaceable, that education has
advanced, and that the condition of the people has for a long
time been gradually improving, and is now better than at any
A great decrease has evidently taken place in most kinds of
serious offences, and that without taking into consideration a con-
current increase of population. In petty offences, too, when the
increase of population is considered, a decrease is almost always
observable, and in many instances the decrease is not merely
comparative but absolute. Upon the whole, bearing in mind the
great increase in the population and wealth of the country, the
amount of crime appears to have much diminished.
The following offences have diminished: — murder, highway
robbery (which was common sixty or seventy years ago in some
of the Highland districts), housebreaking (particularly when
accompanied with violence), child-murder, violent assaults, cattle-
stealing, and forgery.
In small places the bad members of the community, to a
single individual, appear generally to be known. At Kinghorn,
in Fife, for example, the population of which is about 1,500, the
inspector was informed that there are exactly nine persons who
steal ; and it is believed that if these nine persons could be got rid
of, and vagrants excluded, the town would be altogether free from
crime. At Inverness (population about 12,000) there are about
sixty resident thieves, thirty of whom are female prostitutes, and
from fifteen to twenty young boys and girls. At Perth (popu-
lation about 20,000) the number of regular thieves is about
thirty, besides twenty who steal occasionally. About thirty of
these fifty are prostitutes. In East Lothian there are not more
than about twelve resident thieves, from ten to twenty-four years
of age, in the whole county, the population of which is about
Of all immediate causes of crime and offences in Scotland,
drunkenness is by far the most potent. A considerable portion
even of the thefts are committed under the excitement of whis-
key; and the desire of obtaining this liquor is the cause of many
others. The means of committing robbery are often afforded by
intoxication of the person robbed, particularly in the numerous
class of thefts by prostitutes, which include robberies of large
sums of money. Assaults are almost invariably occasioned by
It was stated that the inspector's inquiries had very clearly
shown that crime is, to a considerable extent, hereditary — that, in
this respect, it greatly resembles pauperism ; which, according to
the evidence collected by the Poor Law Commissioners, often
proceeds from father to son in a long line of succession — a cir-
cumstance which is favourable for its gradual extinction.
In Edinburgh there is much petty crime, but few heinous
offences. During the last year there has only been one case of
serious robbery, either in Edinburgh or its suburbs ; and in the
city (the population of which is about 80,000) there have been
only about a dozen thefts, by different degrees of burglary, no one
of which has been accompanied with personal violence. No murder
has been committed in Edinburgh or its suburbs for at least five
years. There has been a great decrease of serious offences in the
last ten years, notwithstanding the increase of population.
The following estimate was given of the criminal population of
Edinburgh. About fifty young male thieves between the ages of
ten and sixteen, and four or five between the ages of twenty and
twenty-five ; making together between fifty and sixty male thieves.
A great number of public prostitutes, most of whom are under
twenty years of age. It was stated that they are generally short-
lived, and that about thirteen are common thieves.
The remaining portion of the Paper was occupied with nume-
rous details of much interest and importance relating to par-
ticular districts, especially those of the Northern Highlands.
A notice from the Council was read, as follows : —
" The frequent application made by members of the Society to
the Assistant Secretary for information as to published statements
on points of statistical inquiry have shown the utility of construct-
ing a general classed index to all published works and documents
containing any available materials. Mr. Deverell has accordingly
laid before the council some suggestions on the subject, and has
been instructed to proceed in the preparation of such a docu-
ment, as being likely to offer great facilities for reference, not only
to works written expressly on each department of statistics, but
to all the statistical statements given incidentally in any other
works, and especially in the various periodical publications. Each
item will be entered under its proper class and subdivision, and
every facility for reference will be furnished by various re-entries,
a separate index of authors' names, &c. Many materials have
already been accumulated from book-catalogues, and numerous
notes have been taken of incidental matter in various works. The
object of the present notice is to solicit the assistance of the mem-
bers in contributing any information they may possess, either of
books or passages in books, all which, if communicated to the
Assistant Secretary, will be registered under their respective heads.
Indeed, it is only by the co-operation of the Fellows of the Society
that a work so extensive and laborious can be accomplished with
the requisite completeness."